I was a bully

Growing up, my mother was a teacher and a principal who moved from school to school a lot. She would take me with her so she could keep an eye on me, and never kept me at a school longer than 2 year until high school. In total, I've moved to 9 different school (including the college that I am currently attending.). Every school I've gone to, kids would make fun of me for my red hair or my weight or the fact that my mother was in charge and call me mothers boy. It was my second grade year that I started fighting back, and soon after fighting back it because me that was teasing and picking on others. I can't count how many time I had gotten into a fight, how many times I got suspended, how many times I got in trouble after that for bullying others. I stayed at the same high school until I graduated, but things were anything but smooth. My freshmen year I was a jerk, anyone that messed with me I would beat the crap out of, anyone that tried to be better than me I would tease. One day I was at the lunch table (still a freshmen) and a senior kid who I disliked passed by. I tried to trip him, and obviously he didn't like it. He grabbed me out of my seat and we exchanged a few punches. Our fight was cut short however by a police officer tackling me to the ground. Being thrown in handcuffs and DRAGGED out of the lunchroom was the last thing I wanted. Sheer embarrassment that taught me that it was time to grow up. By senior year, my brother and I had become the two most well known people of our age group in the city, and I had started straying from my path even more. I found a high school sweet heart, started smoking (cigs), almost didn't graduate, started treating particular people like they were less than I was. Till this very day I have never apologized. I feel like I should, but I decided that due to past events too personal to share it would be best to just stay out of their life. The summer before my junior year, I started a work program that helps people like me who have never had a job before and teaches them the fundamentals. Of course I was new, so I started talking to people to try to make new friends. There were two people in particular that I met that I seemed to pair with, one of them is now one of my closest friends. His name is Brandan, aka Twilight. My story is more of his story really. Going through school he was always picked on. He was born in Canada and moved to the US when his mom married her internet boyfriend after her abusive husband had passed away. Brandan was put into his first american high school, and things did not go well. A girl accused him of rape, his step sister made fun of him, he tried to commit suicide twice. He had no friends. Fast forward to the present day. Hes well, hes healthy, hes happy, he hangs out with our group a lot, hes in love with a great woman and plans on getting engaged, and to top it all off, I love him like a brother. He doesn't know it, but he reminded me of myself when I was going through school, and saved me from becoming what I thought I wanted to fight. His sister called me a Godsend, but in all honesty, he was the one that put me on the right path. It's because of him that I now have the courage to introduce myself to the new guy. He helped me find the courage to stand up for my friends when there's trouble (and believe me, there has been trouble, but I was always there to help in any way I can.) It's also thanks to him that we now have a group of people that are closer to each other than family,  were proof that some bonds run deeper than blood. We were all outcasts at some point, brought together by the same thing: longing to belong. I've been out of high school for going on 3 years, and I've even started to make friends with the people that would make fun of me in Elementary. I hope my story is proof to those still looking for someone to reach out to, that you never know what will happen, or who you will cross paths with. Even the bullies can change someday.

This isn't really part of my story, but I've also lost a lot of friends since I graduated. Some to suicide to family or relationship issues, some OD, one got shot. You never know when your friends will go, or who it is that is suffering. One friend in particular was a guy named Alex that I met twice in my life. The second time was the day before his last. He seemed normal, quiet as always, so I didn't really say much to him. I should have. And I regret it till this day. I know maybe it wouldn't have changed anything because we still didn't know each other that well, but sometimes I fell like if he just knew someone cared. Yet, at the same time, hes proof that suicide isn't that answer. Suicide doesn't take away the pain, it just passes it to the ones that love you. 

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